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Lyr Req: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda

cleod@netasia.net 16 May 97 - 12:48 PM
Benjamin Hollister 21 May 97 - 04:01 AM
cleod 21 May 97 - 11:55 AM
Virginia Blankenhorn 22 May 97 - 11:28 AM
Virginia Blankenhorn 22 May 97 - 11:33 AM
Bert Hansell 22 May 97 - 01:46 PM
cleod 24 May 97 - 09:19 AM
Virginia Blankenhorn 05 Jun 97 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Jessica 24 Mar 10 - 11:40 AM
michaelr 24 Mar 10 - 03:50 PM
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Subject: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: cleod@netasia.net
Date: 16 May 97 - 12:48 PM

Hi! I need the lyrics for "Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda" sung by Capercaillie!!! Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: Benjamin Hollister
Date: 21 May 97 - 04:01 AM

cleod a chara,

When you get the words to this or indeed any other songs in Gaelic, can you bounce them to me (with an idea of where I can hear it)

Sla/n

Benjamin ben.hollister@bigfoot.com


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: cleod
Date: 21 May 97 - 11:55 AM

Alas! As said before on my other postings, this all belongs on my one poor CD "Celtic Odyssey". It is sad, I know, but it's hard finding Celtic music AT ALL in the Philippines...


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALASDAIR MHIC CHOLLA GHASDA
From: Virginia Blankenhorn
Date: 22 May 97 - 11:28 AM

Two texts to this song appear in John Lore Campbell and Francis Collinson, _Hebridean Folksongs II: Waulking Songs from Barra, South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula_, Oxford University Press (1977), p 134 and 136. The song was collected from Miss Mary Gillies (Mairi Mhicheil Nill) of Barra. A translation appears on facing pages 135 and 137. Here is the Gaelic text; it is likely that Capercaillie have used only part of it:

Alasdair mhic *ho ho* Cholla ghasda, *ho ho*
As do laimhs-sa *ho ho* dhearbainn tapachd *trom eile*

REFRAIN

Chaill eileadh i
Chall o ho ro
Chall eileadh i
Chall o ho ro
Challa na hao ri ri
Chall o ho ro o
Haghaidh o ho o, trom eileadh.

As do laimh-sa *ho ho* dh'earbainn tapachd, *ho ho*
Mharbhadh Tighearn' *ho ho* Ach' na Breac leat, *trom eile*

REFRAIN

Mharbhadh Tighearn' *ho ho* Ach' na Breac leat, *ho ho*
Thiolaigeadh e *ho ho* an oir an lochain *trom eile*
/tguikaugeadg em etc,
Ged 's beag mi fhin chuir me ploc air
'S chuir siod gruaim air Niall a Chaisteil
'Sdh'fhag e liondubh air a mhac-sa
'S bha Ni Lachlainn fhein 'ga bhasadh,
'S bha Nic Dhomhnaill 'n deidh a creachadh;
Cha b'iaonadh sin, b'fhiach a mac e
Dronncair, poiteir, seolt' air marcraichd,
Ceanndard an airm an tus a bhatail
Sheinneadh piob leat mhor air chnocan,
Dh'oladh fion leat dearg am portaibh.
Chuala mi 'n de sgeul nach b'ait liom
Glaschu bheag bhith 'na lasair,
'S Obair-eadhain an deidh a chreachadh, *trom eile*

NOTE this song is sung in a call and response pattern, with the chorus supplying the vocables syllables at the middle and end of each line, and alternating lines of the refrain with the soloist. The performance structure of the verse lines is AB, BC, CD, DE, EF etc. with the second line of one stanza moving up to become the first line in the next stanza. This style of performance made the song last longer, which made it suitable accompaniment for the long tiresome business of waulking (fulling) the tweed cloth.


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: Virginia Blankenhorn
Date: 22 May 97 - 11:33 AM

Apologies! The gibberish I have typed above as

/tguikaugeadg em etc

should read:

Thiolaigeadh e

as in the preceding phrase. I hate proofreading!


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 22 May 97 - 01:46 PM

No need to apologise Virginia
Us NON Gaelic speakers didn't notice a thing. :-)
Bert.


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: cleod
Date: 24 May 97 - 09:19 AM

Oh, thank you thank you so very very much... ^_^ I love this place. (and of course the people who run it.)

Ummm, what does it mean, though? And which stanza is which?


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Subject: RE: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda -- need lyrics!!!
From: Virginia Blankenhorn
Date: 05 Jun 97 - 09:55 PM

Okay, are you sitting comfortably? Here goes (note: this is from the same book as the Gaelic text -- see my original post):

Splendid Alasdair, son of Colla/ From your arm I'd expect valour/ Auchinbreck's laird was killed by you,/ And was buried at the lochside./ Though small I be, I cast a sod on him,/ Which made Neil of the Castle gloomy,/ And left his son melancholy./ Lachlann's daughter herself was lamenting,/ And Donald's daughter her hands was wringing./ 'Tis no wonder, her son was worth it,/ Copious drinker, clever horseman,/ Army leader, foremost in battle,/ You'd play the great pipes on a hillock,/ You would drink red wine in houses./ I heard today a tale amazing,/ That little Glasgow is a-blazing,/ And Aberdeen has been plundered./

You asked "what does it mean" and I'm not sure this helps! One thing about these songs, they were intended to aid the laborious process of fulling tweed cloth, which was a rhythmical exercise lasting quite a long time -- so the longer the song was, the better. This is why there frequently are odd junctures in waulking-song texts, such as we see at the end here. I imagine the line beginning "I heard today..." is actually the beginning of a whole new song text, that was tacked on the end here because it happened to be in the same metre as what went before.

As to "which stanza is which" ... having not posted to this group before, I was kind of dismayed to see how the text printed out on the screen, as I actually entered it line-by-line. In the English translation I have inserted slash marks to show where lines end, and I'm hoping that will be clearer. Meanwhile, here's the first few lines of the Gaelic again, minus the refrain vocables; maybe slash marks will help here too:

Alasdair mhic Cholla gasda,/ As do laimh-sa dh'earbainn tapachd,/ Mharbhadh Tighearna Ach' nam Breac leat,/ Thiolaigeadh e an oir an lochain./ Ged 's beag me fhin chuir mi ploc air,/ 'S chuir siod gruaim air Niall a' Chaisteil,/ 'S dh'fhag e lionndubh air a mhac-sa,/ 'S bha Ni Lachlainn fhein 'ga bhasadh,/ 'S bha Nic Dhomhnaill 'n deidh a creachadh;/ Cha b'iaonadh sin, b'fhiach a mac e/ Dronncair, poiteir, seolt' air marcraichd,/ Ceanndard an airm an tus a bhatail,/ Sheinneadh piob leat mhor air chnocan,/ Dh'oladh fion leat dearg am portaibh./ Chuala mi 'n de sgeul nach b'ait lion,/ Glaschu bheag bhith 'na lasair,/ 'S Obair-eadhain an deidh a chreachadh./

The notes in this book report that the song was recorded in Castlebay, Barra, in 1950. It comments on the deeds of Alasdair MacDonald, "Alasdair mac Colla Chiotaich" (Alasdair son of left-handed Coll), "who was the Marquis of Montrose's second-in-command in the Civil War in 1644-45. Alasdair was a man of tremendous courage and endurance, and a perfect second-in-command to Montrose; together their force of Highlanders and Irishmen won a series of spectacular victories against odds over the Covenanters." Alasdair eventually fell in the battle of Cnoc na nDos in Ireland in 1647.

Hey, you asked.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda
From: GUEST,Jessica
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 11:40 AM

Check out the album 'Dual' from Eamonn Doorley ,Julie Fowlis, Ross Martin and Muireann NicAmhlaibh (from Danu)    This song is on there. I love Julie and Muireann!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 03:50 PM

"Dual" is a great record indeed. So much talent!


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